Russian Superfinal Rd3-7: The excitement continues

by Albert Silver
10/23/2016 – … in the Women’s event at least. The men’s competition is now led by six players out of twelve on plus one after a full seven rounds with a massive 76% draws. It is milkmaid chess at its best. The women on the other hand have shown who is wearing the pants in the event as they go all-out at each other every round setting an example of combativeness. Nevertheless, it hasn't all been the chess equivalent of watching paint dry as there has also been a fair share of fascinating positions.

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Photos by A. Tsiler, M. Tumaykin, V. Barsky and E. Kublashvili

The two heaviest hitters, Alexander Grischuk and Peter Svidler may only be on plus one after seven rounds, but luckily for them, that means a tie for first.

Of the no fewer than six players tied with 4.0/7, Jakovenko is the only one with two wins

In spite of the grumbling of the draw rate, and lest the readers think I am overstating it, take a look at the stats yourself:

Men's statistics

Out of 42 games, 32 ended in draw

Women's statistics

They might not have the Elo clout of the male players, but they make up for it in pure spunk

Still, it would be unfair to classify all the drawn games as dull affairs since inevitably some will have been the result of missed wins or successful defenses. While perusing the games, a position caught this author's eye in the game between Evgeny Tomashevsky and Alexander Riazantsev. After building a huge position, White suddenly drew three moves later. Was that correct? Surely something had been missed no? This led to a fascinating investigation of the key position, in which a winning path was found, and which the readers are invited to share and try their hand.

Evgeny Tomashevsky - Alexander Riazantsev

The opportunity of seeing some of the world's greatest chess players in action is never to be spurned

Men's standings after seven rounds

All chess events running under Chess in Museums project, carried out by RCF and Timchenko Charitable Foundation, feature a special program for a rest day, which primarily aims at children. Master-classes and simultaneous displays give chess fans a chance to meet their heroes in person, test their own chess ability, and sometimes even defeat a renowned grandmaster.

The simuls ran in four different places: chess department of Junior School for Technical, Extreme, and Mind Sports (Novosibirsk), Biotechnopark (Koltsovo), Maestro Junior Chess Center (Berdsk), and Center for Junior Development and Creative Works (Toguchin). The young players met grandmasters Sergey Rublevsky (gave a simul in Novosibirsk), Evgeny Najer (went to Koltsovo), Pavel Tregubov (visited Berdsk), and Evgeny Miroshnichenko (played in Toguchin).

The children anxiously look forward to playing with a champion

Whether ribbons or giant antennae, they are impressive!

Evgeny Miroshnichenko who has lent his chess ability and fluent English to many live commentaries gave a simul

The participants all get together for Ye Olde Grouppe Photo

Neither Goryachkina or Gunina have been having the tournament they had hoped for

Ubiennykh - Bodnaruk

Black has an opportunity to secure a decisive advantage. Can you find it?

39... Rxe6! and now if 40. Nxe6? Qxc2+ 41. Ka1 Rxe3! 42. Qxe3 Nd3! 0-1


Olga Girya (left) has good reason to smile as she is in clear second. On the other hand, facing her is Alina Kashlinskaya, worried as she is the only player to not have won a game.

Girya - Goryachkina

White missed a chance to secure her advantage. Can you do better? White to play and win.

33. e5! dxe5 34. Qe2! Bf5 (34... d3 35. Qxe5+ Qf6 36. Qc7+ Qf7 37. d6) 35. Qxe5+ Qf6 36. Qc7+ Qf7 37. d6 1-0


In sole first is Alexandra Kosteniuk with 5.0/7

Women's standings after seven rounds


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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Eigenfunction Eigenfunction 10/26/2016 01:49

Ah okay, thanks for the clarification.
Bertman Bertman 10/24/2016 04:00

You are quite correct that it is indeed Open inasmuch as there is no rule that excludes a female player due to gender. However, the Russian Chess Federation's official tournament page has it described as Men, which is what I used.
Eigenfunction Eigenfunction 10/24/2016 01:53
Is the "Men's Russian Superfinal" officially a men's-only tournament? I kept hearing the US Championship described as two separate events - a women's-only and an open tournament.

It's not inconceivable that a 2600+ Russian female talent could develop in a short amount of time, especially under recent rating system changes. I'm not sure about the time frame of rule changes, but if the "Men's Russian Superfinal" really is men-only, there may not be enough time to officially change the gender rules if a strong female player suddenly arises.